« PreviousContinue »
We get also a glimpse of this punish- accord in seeking rather their own pri. ment in Ducange, Glos. Capa Plumbea, vate gains than the common good.” where he cites the case in which one 108. A street in Florence, laid waste man tells another: “If our Holy Father by the Guelfs. the Pope knew the lise you are leading, 113. Hamlet, I. 2. :be would have you put to death in a tloak of lead.”
“Nor windy suspiration of forced breath." 67. Comedy of Errors, IV. 2 :“A devil in an everlasting garment hath him.”, thought "expediency” the best thing:
115. Caiaphas, the High-Priest, who 91. Bologna was renowned for its 121. Annas, father-in-law of CaiaUniversity ; and the speaker, who was phas. 2 Bolognese, is still ` mindful of his 134. The great outer circle surround. college.
ing this division of the Inferno. 95. Florence, the bellissima e famo 142. He may have heard in the lecsissima figlia di Roma, as Dante calls it, tures of the University an exposition of Convito, I. 3.
John viii. 44: “Ye are of your father An order of knighthood, esta- the devil, and the lusts of your father ye blished by Pope Urban IV. in 1261, will do: he was a murderer from the under the title of “Knights of Santa beginning, and abode not in the truth, Maria." The name Frati Gaudenti, or because there is no truth in him. When “Jovial Friars," was a nicknaine, be- he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his (ause they lived in their own homes and own; for he is a liar, and the father were not bound by strict monastic rules. of it." Napier, Flor. Hist. 1. 269, says :
"A short time before this a new order of religious knighthood under the
CANTO XXIV. name of Frati Gaudenti began in Italy : it was not bound by vows of celibacy, 1. The Seventh Bolgia, in which of any very severe regulations, but took Thieves are punished. the usual oaths to defend widows and 2. The sun enters Aquarius during orphans and make peace between man the last half of January, when the Equiand man: the founder was a Bolognese nox is near, and the hoar-frost in ihe gentleman, called Loderingo di Liandolo, morning looks like snow on the fields, who enjoyed a good reputation, and but soon evaporates. If Dante had been along with a brother of the same order, a monk of Monte Casino, illuminating a named Catalano di Malavolti, one a manuscript, he could not have made a Guelf and the other a Ghibelline, was more clerkly and scholastic flourish with now invited to Florence by Count Guido his pen than this, nor have painted a to execute conjointly the office of Podestà. more beautiful picture than that which It was intended by thus dividing the follows. The mediæval poets are full of supreme authority between two magis- lovely descriptions of Spring, which seems trates of different politics, that one to blossom and sing through all their should correct the other, and justice be verses ; but none is more beautiful or equally administered ; more especially suggestive than this, though serving only as, in conjunction with the people, they as an illustration. were allowed to elect a deliberative 21. In Canto I. council of thirty-six citizens, belonging 43. See what Mr. Ruskin says of to the principal trades without distinction Dante as "a notably bad climber,” Canto
XII. Note 2. Farther on he says that these two 55. The ascent of the Mount of PurFrati Gaudenti "forfeited all public gatory. confidence by their peculation and hypo. 73. The next circular dike, dividing crisy." And Villani, VII. 13: “Although the fosses. they were of different parties, under 86. This list of serpents is from Lucan, cover of a false hypocrisy, they were of Phars. IX. 711, Rowe's Tr. :
Slimy Chelyders the parched earth distain And, though her body die, her fame sur
And trace a reeking furrow on the plain.
114. Any obstruction, “such as the The Swimmer there the crystal stream pol- epilepsy,"
“Gouts and And swift thro' air the flying Javelin shoots.
dropsies, catarrhs and oppilations," says
Jeremy Taylor. The Amphisbæna doubly armed appears
125. Vanni Fucci, who calls himself a At either end a threatening head she rears; Raised on his active tail Pareas stands,
mule, was a bastard son of Fuccio de' And as he passes, furrows up the sands."
Lazzari. All the commentators paint
him in the darkest colours. Dante had Milton, Parad. Lost, X. 521 :
known him as “a man of blood and
wrath," and seems to wonder he is here, “ Dreadful was the din of hissing through the hall, thick-swarming of the Irascible.
and not in the circle of the Violent, or
But his great crime With complicated monsters head and tail, was the robbery of a sacristy. BenveScorpion, and asp, and amphisbæna dire, nuto da Imola relates the story in detail. Cerastes horned, hydrus, and elops drear, And dipsas.
He speaks of him as a man of depravec
life, many of whose misdeeds went unof the Phareas, Peter Comestor, Hist. punished, because he was of noble family. Scholast., Gloss of Genesis iii. I, says:
Being banished from Pistoia for his “And this he (Lucifer) did by means of crimes, he returned to the city one night the serpent ; for then it was erect like of the Carnival, and was in company inan; being afterwards made prostrate
with eighteen other revellers, among by the curse ; and it is said the Phareas whom was Vanni della Nona, a notary; walks erect even to this day."
when, not content with their insipid of the Amphisbæna, Brunetto La- diversions, he stole away with two comtini, Tresor I. v. 140, says: “The Am. panions to the church of San Giacomo, phimenie is a kind of serpent which has and, finding its custodians absent, or two heads; one in its right place, and asleep with seasting and drinking, he the other in the tail ; and with each she entered the sacristy and robbed it of all its can bite ; and she runs swiftly, and her precious jewels. These he secreted in eyes shine like candles.
the house of the notary, which was close 93. Without a hiding-place, or the at hand, thinking that on account of his heliotrope, a precious stone of great
honest repute no suspicion would fall virtue against poisons, and supposed to
A certain Rampino was render the wearer invisible.
arrested for the theft, and put to the latter vulgar error is founded Boccaccio's torture ; when Vanni Fucci, having comical story of Calandrino and his escaped to Monte Carelli, beyond the friends Bruno and Buffulmacco, Decam., Florentine jurisdiction, sent a messenger Gior. VIII., Nov. 3.
to Rampino's father, confessing all the 107. Brunetto Latini, Tresor I. y. 164, the notary was seized “on the first Mon
circumstances of the crime. Hereupon says of the Phønix : “He goeth to a good tree, savouryand of good odour, and day in Lent, as he was going to a sermon maketh a pile thereof, to which he set in the church of the Minorite Friars," teth fire, and entereth straightway into and was hanged for the thest, and Ram. it toward the rising of the sun.
pino set at liberty. And Milton, Samson Agonistes, 1697: Vanni Fucci, except the Canonico Cres.
No one has a good word to say for “So Virtue, given for lost,
cimbeni, who, in ihę Comentarj to the Depressed and overthrown, as seemed, Like that self-begotten bird
Istoria della Volg. Poesia, II. ii., p. 99, In the Arabian woods embost,
counts him among the Italian Poets, That no second knows nor third,
and speaks of him as a man of great And lay erewhile a holocaust, Froin out her ashy womb now teemed,
courage and gallantry, and a leader of Revives, reflourishes, then vigorous most
the Neri party of Pistoia, in 1300. He When most unactive deemed ;
smooths over Dante's invectives by
remarking that Dante "makes not too founded by the soldiers of Catiline. honourable mention of him in the Come Brunetto Latini, Tresor, I. i. 37, says : dy;" and quotes a sonnet of his, which “ They found Catiline at the foot of the is pathetic from its utter despair and mountains and he had his army and his self-reproach :
people in that place where is now the "For I have lost the good I might have had city of Pestoire. There was Catiline
Through little wit, and not of mine own will." conquered in battle, and he and his It is like the wail of a lost soul, and the were slain ; also a great part of the same in tone as the words which Dante of the pestilence of that great slaughter
Romans were killed. And on inccount here puts into his mouth, Dante may the city was called Pestoire.” have heard him utter similar self-accusations while living, and seen on his face
The Italian proverb says, Pistoia la the blush of shame, which covers it ferrigna, iron Pistoia, or Pistoia the here.
pitiless. 143. The Neri were banished from
15. Capaneus, Canto XIV. 44. Pistoia in 1301 ; the Bianchi, from
19. See Canto XIII. Note 9. Florence in 1302.
the classic Giant 145. This vapour or lightning flash Despair, who had his cave in Mount from Val di Magra is the Marquis Mala: Aventine, and stole a part of the herd spini, and the “ turbid clouds” are the of Geryon, which Hercules had brought banished Neri of Pistoia, whom he is to
to Italy. Virgil, Æneid, VIII., Dry.
den's Tr. :gather about him to defeat the Bianchi at Campo Piceno, the old battle-field of " See yon huge cavern, yawning wide around, Catiline. As Dante was of the Bianchi Where still the shattered mountain spreads the
ground: party, this prophecy of impending dis
That spacious hold grim Cacus once possessed, aster and overthrow could only give him Tremendous fiend ! hall human, half a beast : pain. See Canto VI. Note 65.
Deep, deep as hell, the dismal dungeon lay,
With copious slaughter smoked the purplo
Pale heads hung horrid on the lofty door, 1. The subject of the preceding Canto
Dreadful to view ! and dropped with crimson is continued in this.
2. This vulgar gesture of contempt 28. Dante makes a Centaur of Cacus, consists in thrusting the thumb between and separates him from the others bethe first and middle fingers. It is the cause he was fraudulent as well as same that the ass-driver made at Dante violent. Virgil calls him only a monin the street ; Sacchetti, Nov. CXV. : ster, a half-man, Semihominis Caci “When he was a little way off
, he facies. turned round to Dante, and, thrusting
35. Agr.ello Brunelleschi, Buoso degli out his tongue and making a fig at him Abati
, and Puccio Sciancato. with his hand, said, • Take that.
38. The story of Cacus, which Virgil Villani, VI. 5, says: “On the Rock was telling, of Carmignano there was a tower seventy 43. Ciansa Donati, a Florentine noble. yards high, and upon it two marble arms, man. He appears immediately, as a the hands of which were making the figs serpent with six feet, and fastens upon at Florence.” Others say these hands Agnello Brunelleschi. were on a finger-post by the road-side.
65. Some commentators contend that In the Merri iVives of Windsor, I. 3, in this line papiro does not mean paper, Pistol says: “Convey, the wise it call; but a lamp-wick made of papyrus. This Steal! foh; a fico for the phrase!” And destroys the beauty and aptness of the Martino, in Beaumont and Fletcher's image, and rather degrades Il'idov, V. I:
" The leaf of the reed, “The fig of everlasting obloquy Which has grown through the clefts in th Go with him."
ruins of ages." 10. Pistoia is supposed to have been 73. These four lists, or hands, are
the fore feet of the serpent and the arms of Agnello.
76. Shakespeare, in the “Additional Poems to Chester's Love's Martyrs,' Knight's Shakespeare, VII. 193, speaks of "Two distincts, division none; and continues :
“ Property was thus appalled
That the self was not the same,
Neither two nor one was called.
Saw division grow together :
Simple were so well compounded.”
95. Lucan, Phars., . IX., Rowe's T.:“But soon a fate more sad with new surprise From the first object turns their wondering
eyes. Wretched Sabellus by a Seps was stung : Fixed on his leg with deadly teeth it hung. Sudden the soldier shook it from the wound, Transfixed and nailed it to the barren ground. Of all the dire, destructive serpent race, None have so much of death, though none
are less For straight around the part the skin with
drew, The flesh and shrinking sinews backward
flew, And left the naked bones exposed to view. The spreading poisons all the parts confound, And the whole body sinks within the wound. Small relics of the mouldering mass were left, At once of substance as of form bereit; Dissolved, the whole in liquid poison ran, And to a nauseous puddle shrunk the man. So snows dissolved by southern breezes run, So melts the wax before the noonday sun. Nor ends the wonder here; though flames are
known To waste the flesh, yet still they spare the
bone : Here none were left, no least remains were
seen, No marks to show that once the man had
becn. A fate of different kind Nasidius found, A burning Prester gave the deadly wound, And straight a sudden flame began to spread, And paint his visage with a glowing red. With swift expansion swells the bloated
skin,Naught but an undistinguished mass is seen, While the fair human form lies lost within : The puffy poison spreads and heaves around, Till all the man is in the monster drowned. No irure the steely plate his breast can stay, But yields, and gives the bursting poison way. Not waters on when fire the rage supplies,
Bubbling on heaps, in boiling cauldrons rise ; Nor swells the stretching canvas half so fast, When the szils gather all the driving blast, Strain the tough yards, and bow the lofty
mast. The various parts no longer now are known, One headless, formless hcap remains alone,
97. Ovid, . Metamorph., IV., Eus. den's Tr. : "Come, my Harmonia, come, thy face recline Down to my face : still touch what still is
mine. Olet these hands, while hands. be gently
pressed, While yet the serpent has not all possessed.' More he had spoke, but strove to spcak in
vain, The forky tongue refused to tell his pain, And leamed in hissings only to complain. “Then stricked Harmonia, *Stay, my
Cadmus, stay! Glide not in such a monstrous shape away! Destruction, like impetuous waves, rolls on. Where are thy feet, thy legs, thy shoulders
gone? Changed is thy visage, changed is all thy
And V., Maynwaring's Tr. :-
My fainting limbs, at every pore expressed ; My strength distilled in drops, my hair in
dew, My form was changed, and all my substance
new : Each motion was a stream, and my whole
frame Turned to a fount, which still preserve my
See also Shelley's Arethusa :
From her couch of snows
From cloud and from crag
With many a jag
She leapt down the rocks,
With her rainbow locks
Her steps paved with green
"he downward ravine
And gliding and springing,
She went, ever singing,
The Earth seemed to love her,
And Heaven smiled above her As she lingered towards the deep." 144.
Some editions read la panna, the pen, instead of la lingua, the tongue.
151. Gaville was a village in the Valdarno,
where Guercio Cavalcand
si murdered. The family took ven- place, from l'acchereccia to Porta Santa gance upon the inhabitants in the old Maria and the Ponte Vecchio, all was 1:aiian style, thus causing Gaville to one broad sheet of fire: more than nine. ement the murder.
teen hundred houses were consumed; plunder and devastation revelled un. checked amongst the flames, whole races
were reduced in one moment to beggary, CANTO XXVI.
and vast magazines of the richest mer. 1. Tie Eighth Bolgia, in which canti, one of the most opulent families
chandise were destroyed. Fraudulent Counsellors are punished. 4. Of these five Florentine nobles, consumed, and lost all courage; they
in Florence, beheld their whole property Ciansa Donati, Agnello Brunelleschi, Buoso degli Abati, Puccio Sciancato, almost gaining possession of the city,
made no attempt to save it, and, after and Guercio Cavalcanti, nothing is known but what Dante tells us. Per
were finally overcome by the opposite
faction." haps that is enough.
10. Macbeth, f. 7:7. See Purg. IX. 13:
“If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere Just at the hour when her sad lay begins
well The little swallow, near unto the morning,
It were done quickly."
23. See Parad. XII. 112:--
"O glorious stars ! O light impregnated
I may not baulk or deprive mymention no others. These disasters self of this good. were the fall of the wooden bridge of 34. The Prophet Elisha, 2 Kings Carraia, with a crowd upon it, witness- ii. 23:-. ing a Miracle Play on the Arno; the And he went up from thence unto strife of the Bianchi and Neri; and the Bethel; and as he was going up by the great fire of 1304. See Villani, VIII., way, there came forth little children 70, 71. Napier, Florentine History, I. out of the city, and mocked him, and 394, gives this account:
said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; * Battles first began between the go up, thou bald head. And he turned Cerchi and Giugni at their houses in back, and looked on them, and cursed the Via del Garbo; they fought day them in the name of the Lord: and and night, and with the aid of the Ca- there came forth two she-bears out of valcanti and Antellesi the former sub- the wood, and tare forty and two chil. dued all that quarter: a thousand rural dren of them.” adherents strengthened their bands, and 35. 2 Kings ii. II: that day might have seen the Neri's "And it came to pass, as they still destruction if an unforseen disaster had went on and talked, that, behold, there not turned the scale. A certain dis- appeared a chariot of fire, and horses solute priest, called Neri Abati, prior of fire, and parted them both asunder; of San Piero Scheraggio, false to his and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into family and in concert with the Black heaven.” chiefs, consented to set fire to the dwell 54. These two sons of (Edipus, Ete. ings of his own kinsmen in Orto-san-ocles and Polynices, were so hostile to Michele; the fiames, assisted by faction, each other, that, when after death their spread rapidly over the richest and most bodies were burned on the same funcral crowded part of Florence: shops, ware- pile, the flames swayed apart, and the houses, towers, private dwellings and ashes separated. Statius, Thebaid, XIL Dalaces, from the old to the new market. | 430, Lewis's T:.:-